A consumer reporting agency (which includes credit reporting agencies, background reporting companies, tenant screening companies, and others) does not have free rein to report to potential creditors and employers all information it has on an individual. Under Section 1681c of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a consumer reporting agency cannot include in a background report or a credit report:
(1) Bankruptcy cases under Chapter 11 that antedate the report by more than 10 years from the date of entry of the order for relief or the date of adjudication.
(2) Civil suits, civil judgments, and records of arrest that, from date of entry, antedate the report by more than seven years or until the governing statute of limitations has expired, whichever is the longer period.
(3) Paid tax liens which, from date of payment, antedate the report by more than seven years.
(4) Accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss which antedate the report by more than seven years.
(5) Any other adverse item of information, other than records of convictions of crimes which antedates the report by more than seven years.
If you've been denied a job, a loan, or some other form of credit and this information has appeared on your report, your legal rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act may have been violated. Reach out to a Fair Credit Reporting Act attorney to discuss your rights.